Why do I get so weird/depressed when I spend just a little time alone?

I’m a weirdo! I’m generally a very balanced person with few neuroses, but like most people, I definitely prefer the company of others. I lived alone for years without incident once.

Lately, I have a job that gives me random weekdays off, and my wife is in graduate school full-time. When these two line up - a day off of work and one of her days that she’s away at school all day - I find myself getting incredibly depressed, anxious, and generally neurotic as the day goes on. It’s unbearable by evening, and I usually have to just get out and do something, but it barely alleviates the feelings.

What’s the deal with THAT?

Is it the solitude that’s getting to you or are things running through your mind?

Years ago, I had feelings like you did whenever I was alone. Many old, painful memories were coming to the surface. Being alone can give your mind a chance to reflect, and that can be unpleasant.

On a lighter note, maybe you just need to look into a hobby or getting a pet. :slight_smile:

Sounds as though you’re an extravert. By that, I don’t mean an outgoing person (though you may be), but a person who needs human interaction.

I have the exact opposite condition. Whenever I’m around people for extended periods of time, I get anxious and I want to run and hide. I love solitude and the accompanying peace and quiet.

What are you doing with your time when you’re home alone? Anyone would get antsy if they had nothing to do. Do you like to read? Play video games? Surf the 'net?

I get like that when my husband first leaves (he works out of town for 1 - 2 weeks at a time) especially now since he was just home for 2 months and now gone again. I guess “weird” is the best way to describe it. I mostly feel like the world is spinning outside my door and life is moving on without me.
Here’s my advice, since you didn’t ask for it: I stay busy with busy work and save my grocery trips for the lonliest times. It sounds weird, but at least when I’m going aisle to aisle in WalMart I am interacting with others instead of staring at the walls. After that I’m content to go home and be alone or just me and the kids (that can be a special kind of alone - you are lonely and responsible for young 'uns all at once). Mostly, just have a plan. That is what keeps the over-organized people like me on an even keel.

I haven’t experienced this myself (I’m an introvert and require some private time to regroup after being around other people), but I can imagine that if you’re used to constant company it can be a weird adjustment to suddenly be alone. I agree with the idea of trying to stay busy with running errands or picking up a new hobby. Nobody likes to just sit around with nothing to do.

It’s a process. I moved out here to be with someone romantically, and leaving my friends and family behind was hard. Now when he’s gone, it’s a fine line between cherishing my alone time and not quite knowing what to do with myself. It helps to put some money aside and invest it in something you like, such as classes to learn something new, or an indulgence to help you pass the time, like a trip to a book store. It’s harder to socialize when you’re an adult with a kid at home, but look into local book clubs or social groups. Good luck-I feel for you.

I think it’s boredom that causes self-consciousness, which generates subconscious self-doubt or self-hatred, which causes you to feel agitated and seek out distractions regardless of whether you enjoy them or not.

I’d advise you to get a hobby - something you enjoy very much and that you can really sink into for extended periods of time. Do you like to read? (Reading and book shopping are very enjoyable activities for me that I can do for hours.) Want to take up jogging? The process of getting ready, jogging, showering, etc. will not only keep you occupied but make you feel better physically and mentally. You get the idea.

Disclaimer: I am not a therapist, doctor or psychic. Feel free to ignore me.

Hang out here on your days off. We’ll keep you amused.

I went through a period like that a few years ago. I still have no idea why it happened, or why it happened then. The solution was to make greater than normal efforts to plan activities, with and without people, for the alone time. I think it worked.

Of course YMMV.